DESPITE just arriving home from an international whistle-top tour, Knutsford’s ‘Poetrician’ is already preparing for his next lyrical performance. 

Michael Gibson, a scholar of Middle and Old English Poetry, will be taking centre-stage at Knutsford Heritage Centre on March 21.

He will be performing ‘a spring tonic of verse and music’ with his show entitled ‘Of Queens and Kings and Winters and Springs’.

“The performance is to include what seems to be a previously unknown song by King Canute which proves that he did come this way, and fell in the River Lily” teased Michael.

The hometown performance follows on from his successful three-university tour of the Netherlands, which wrapped last week.  Michael was invited to perform in the Netherlands by Dr Thijs Porck, a lecturer from Leiden University, after the pair met last year at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds.

He kicked off his tour at Leiden University, with his rendition of ‘Beowulf’s Boxer Shorts’ on February 23, before moving on to Utrecht University and Radboud University in Nijmegen, where he covered such topics as King Cnut and Caedmon’s Song.

“The tour was great fun and the lecture performances about the rhythm of English poetry were well received,” said Michael, who often uses an Anglo-Saxon harp and pipe in his performances.

“I introduced students and lecturers to the ‘Green Man’ who is found in so many of our churches and cathedrals, but not in the Netherlands.  I consider him to be one of the Lords of the song and dance of English poetry.

“Of course, I told them of the Green Man at our Knutsford Heritage Centre and the Jack-in-the Green in the Royal May Day procession.

“I was also delighted to learn that Thijs had visited Knutsford because of his research interests in King Canute.  Unfortunately he found the Heritage Centre closed but I have of course urged him to try again.”

Michael illustrated the lectures with a ceramic version of the Green Man made by Jenni Ellman at Tattondale Pottery and at the end of the performances presented a small replica to each University.

Following his upcoming performance at the heritage centre, Michael will also be travelling to London to address The Queen’s English Society with a lecture-performance called ‘On Bombastic Blokes and Lyrical Ladies’.

Michael’s performance ‘Of Queens and Kings and Winters and Springs’ will take place from 2-4pm.  Tickets cost £7 or £6.30 for Friends and can be purchased from The Heritage Centre.  Alternatively, call 01565 650506.